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Twentieth-Century Australian Literature (ENGL2100)
Semester 2 / 2006


y separately published work icon True Country Kim Scott , Fremantle : Fremantle Press , 1993 Z165486 1993 single work novel (taught in 30 units) 'Billy is drifting, looking for a place to land. A young school teacher, he arrives in Australia's remote far north in search of his own history, his Aboriginality, and his future. He finds himself in a region of abundance and beauty but also of conflict, dispossession and dislocation. On the desperate frontier between cultures, Billy must find his place of belonging.' (Source: Fremantle Press website)
y separately published work icon My Place Sally Morgan , Fremantle : Fremantle Press , 1987 Z384564 1987 single work autobiography (taught in 30 units)

'In 1982, Sally Morgan travelled back to her grandmother's birthplace. What started as a tentative search for information about her family, turned into an overwhelming emotional and spiritual pilgrimage. My Place is a moving account of a search for truth into which a whole family is gradually drawn, finally freeing the tongues of the author's mother and grandmother, allowing them to tell their own stories.' Source: Publisher's blurb.

y separately published work icon My Brother Jack : A Novel George Johnston , London Sydney : Collins , 1964 Z824887 1964 single work novel (taught in 13 units)

''The thing I am trying to get at is what made Jack different from me. Different all through our lives, I mean, and in a special sense, not just older or nobler or braver or less clever.'

'David and Jack Meredith grow up in a patriotic suburban Melbourne household during the First World War, and go on to lead lives that could not be more different. Through the story of the two brothers, George Johnston created an enduring exploration of two Australian myths: that of the man who loses his soul as he gains worldly success, and that of the tough, honest Aussie battler, whose greatest ambition is to serve his country during the war. Acknowledged as one of the true Australian classics, My Brother Jack is a deeply satisfying, complex and moving literary masterpiece. ' (Publication summary)

y separately published work icon A Fringe of Leaves Patrick White , London : Jonathan Cape , 1976 Z476217 1976 single work novel (taught in 8 units)
y separately published work icon Bush Studies Barbara Baynton , London : Duckworth , 1902 Z820571 1902 selected work short story (taught in 12 units)

'Bush Studies is famous for its stark realism—for not romanticising bush life, instead showing all its bleakness and harshness.

'Economic of style, influenced by the great nineteenth-century Russian novelists, Barbara Baynton’s short-story collection presents the Australian bush as dangerous and isolating for the women who inhabit it.' (Publication summary : Text Classics)

y separately published work icon My Brilliant Career Miles Franklin , Edinburgh London : William Blackwood , 1901 Z161522 1901 single work novel (taught in 56 units)

My Brilliant Career was written by Stella Franklin (1879-1954) when she was just nineteen years old. The novel struggled to find an Australian publisher, but was published in London and Edinburgh in 1901 after receiving an endorsement from Henry Lawson. Although Franklin wrote under the pseudonym 'Miles Franklin', Lawson’s preface makes it clear that Franklin is, as Lawson puts it 'a girl.'

The novel relates the story of Sybylla Melvyn, a strong-willed young woman of the 1890s growing up in the Goulburn area of New South Wales and longing to be a writer.

y separately published work icon A Human Pattern : Selected Poems Judith Wright , North Ryde : Angus and Robertson , 1990 Z9022 1990 selected work poetry (taught in 3 units)

'Judith Wright's own definitive selection of her poetry, covering the best and most memorable of her remarkable oeuvre.

'From the elegant and moving precision of the first collection, The Moving Image (1946), to the political passion of Phantom Dwelling (1985), Wright's poetry speaks with intelligence and courage - and gracefully sensuous imagery.

'Forty years of poetic production from Australia's best-loved poet.' (Publication summary)


Consideration of major developments in Australian literature within context of key debates in culture, politics & criticism in 20th century.

ENGL2100 “Twentieth Century Australian Literature” considers some of the major developments in Australian Literature over the last 100 years. In particular it draws upon postcolonial and feminist literary and cultural criticism to explore a number of key themes in Australian literature: literature as a vehicle for promoting or questioning the development of Australian cultural nationalism; the family as an institution of self-development and as a microcosm for the nation; the creative response to place and landscape; the engagement with the legacies of colonial history; the articulation of racial and gender identities.


Exam - during Exam Period (Central)

Final Exam


Take Home Exam


Research Proposal and Annotation Exercise


Research Essay


Supplementary Texts

Martin, Susan. "Relative Correspondence: Franklin's My Brilliant Career and the Influence of Nineteenth-Century Australian Women's Writing." The Time to Write: Australian Women Writers 1890-1930. Ed. Kay Ferres. Ringwoo, Vic: Penguin, 1993. 54-70.

Webby, Elizabeth. "Barbara Baynton's Revisions to "Squeaker's Mate"." Southerly 44 (1984): 455-68.

Bridge, Jenny. "Landscape and Identity in Judith Wright's Poetry: An Introduction." Australian Studies 4 (1990): 1-19.

Pascal, Richard. "Singing Our Place Little Bit New: Aboriginal Narrativity and Nation Building in Kim Scott's True Country." Critique 46.1 (2004): 3-11.

Hergenhan, Laurie. "'Shafts into Our Fundamental Animalism': Barbara Baynton's Use of Naturalism in Bush Studies." Australian Literary Studies 17.3 (1996): 211-21.

AustLit: Online Electronic Database Resource for Australian Literature

Wilde, William, Joy Hooton and Barry Andrews. The Oxford Companion to Australian Literature. 2nd ed. Oxford: London, 1994.

Baldick, Chris. The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1991.

Other Details

Current Campus: St Lucia
Levels: Undergraduate